Study says new gas plant most cost-effective UP power option

MODIS Image of Fall Colors in Michigan's Upper Peninsula on 9-23-14. Notice the brown colors inland away from the lakes. Photo credit: SSEC MODIS Today.
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LANSING, Mich. (AP) - A study of alternatives for generating more electricity in Michigan's Upper Peninsula shows that establishing a transmission link with Canada or drawing more power from the Lower Peninsula would cost more than they're worth.

Gov. Rick Snyder requested a feasibility analysis of connecting the eastern U.P. to Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, or to an existing transmission line near Gaylord.

The study was led by the Midcontinent Independent System Operator, which oversees the electrical grid in the central United States and part of Canada.

Preliminary results say linking the U.P. to Ontario and expanding transmission capability between the U.P. and the Lower Peninsula would provide too little benefit to cover the high construction costs.

The study found that building a 100-megawatt natural gas plant near Pine River would be more cost-effective.